Cardinals positional needs and review: Tight end

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Jess Root
·3 min read
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The Arizona Cardinals are in the offseason and are evaluating what to do to improve and address the roster in 2021.

As we have done previously with the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions, we will look at each position group, how it did in 2020, who is on the roster moving forward and what the Cardinals need at the position moving forward.

Next up are the tight ends.


2020 season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As was to be expected, the Cardinals didn't get a ton of production from the position. Dan Arnold led the position with 31 receptions for 438 yards and four scores. He had some solid games and also had a few throws he should have caught. There were a combined 17 receptions among all the rest of the tight ends who played. Maxx Williams and Darrell Daniels each had eight and Jordan Thomas had one that went for a touchdown. Williams was hampered all year with ankle issues and only played in nine games. When he played, the offense was better. Daniels also dealt with injuries, playing in 12 games. After that, there was a revolving door of tight ends getting elevated and signed from the practice squad — Thomas, Evan Baylis and Seth DeValve.

Roster outlook

Dan Arnold: Unrestricted free agent (some cap sites say he is restricted, but the team roster has him with four credited seasons and Darren Urban from the team site lists him as unrestricted) Darrell Daniels: Unrestricted free agent Seth DeValve: Unrestricted free agent Maxx Williams: Signed through 2021, $3.22 million cap hit in 2021 Ian Bunting: Signed to futures deal for 2021

2021 offseason needs

Offseason need: High

The Cardinals don't just lack talent at the position. They lack bodies. Williams could be a cap casualty, but that would be weird considering he is the only player at the position other than Bunting, who has never played an NFL game. They need a quality tight end who can be both a great blocker and can be at least a tiny threat to catch the ball. Even if it is Williams, they need a player similar to him because he has only ever played all 16 games of a season once. He always gets hurt. The team believes in Arnold, so it would appear they will try and bring him back. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has called him a player who can build with the team. He needs to make strides as a blocker to be a more complete player. However, because it is a position that won't do much statistically, they probably won't spend a ton of money at the position. Some people have projected the Cardinals using a prime draft pick on a tight end in the draft. I don't know if they will do that, but as things stand, they need to add at least two players to the position who are able to play. Listen to the latest from Cards Wire's Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Latest show:

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